Category Archives: News

The ‘Double Whammy’ that is holding our Economy by the Throat

By: Zach Betzing, Leo Mathis-McKee

As the U.S. economy has started to open up through the past few months, businesses all around the country have been opening, and customers are back in the brick and mortar stores. This spike in demand throughout businesses worldwide has put a lot of stress on manufacturers and shipping companies, all frantically trying to meet these expectations and satisfy their customers with needed goods and supplies.

Through all of these factors, a bottleneck occurred. This influx of shipments into ports and spike in demand for materials created a new supply chain shortage, which has been torturing businesses for months now. Prices on common goods have spiked, and stock has been extremely limited. Grocery stores and supermarkets like Walmart, HEB, and Whole Foods have been heavily affected by this large shortage, along with the enormous amount of loyal customers, who are now struggling to find necessities.

This is not the only shortage occurring, though. As the pandemic continues, not all of America has been able to get out of the house and back into the workforce. To put this issue into perspective, a survey conducted in mid-2021 by SHRM shows that 9 in 10 surveyed organizations are having difficulty filling certain open positions. This shows really bad news for business owners, as they have to limit hours or close altogether due to a low amount of employees. Most importantly, SHRM also reported that 93% of these unfilled positions are manufacturing jobs, which can partially explain the supply chain shortage previously mentioned. Countless businesses around the country, including restaurants that can’t serve tables/certain food, or supermarkets that cannot stock shelves are struggling from the  combination of these shortages. This has ultimately left employers scrambling for employees, doing anything they can to fill positions, like raising wages, increasing benefits, and less restrictive application requirements or job experience. This leaves great incentives for people to get back into the workforce, get some extra money, and help get us out of this widespread shortage.

As seen above, however, there is a silver lining: this shortage won’t last forever. As USA TODAY said, the “…worker shortage should ease in 2022, as COVID wanes…” (Davidson 1). This gives us hope, as there could be an end in the near future to this issue. For now though, we’ll have to power through these shortages, and get more people back in the workforce.

Covid-19 Article

Covid-19 has brought a lot of hardships to the world over the past year. It was an unexpected bump in the road that resulted in a lot of crashes. One thing covid majorly affected all over the world is school. Most all schools shut down, and had all online learning. Remote learning caused teachers, and districts to find new ways to provide kids with information. It was a struggle for some teachers, but not all about it was bad. 

Within the tornado of having to learn how to give kids new information over a computer, some teachers found things that still work for them. I wanted to find some positives in all of this, so I asked some teachers at Dripping Springs High School what those things were for them. 

First off we have Ms. Batson, an English teacher, “One of the things that was most important to me was classroom community and culture. One of the ways I bridged the gap between in-person and remote students was the use of journal warm ups and class discussions at the beginning of every class period.. they span from emotional intelligence questions and reflections, to content-related ideas.” She goes on to talk about how it helped students connect, when they shared their opinion. 

Obviously with the two different sets of students for one class period, it can be hard to find a way for them to work together. Batson was able to find a way that worked for her, and even still uses it now. Another problem teachers faced with remote learning was not being able to connect with their students. You may never realize how much a teacher tries to connect and build a relationship with you. 

Ms. Riddlebarger stated, “Last year I took the time to talk to each one individually on a regular basis both about their classwork, but also about what was going on outside of class, whether that be extra-curricular activities or their jobs, or even something as simple as a new pet. I found that it helped build a mutual trust between me and my students and also showed them that I care more about them as people, not just as students in my classes.” She also said how it’s harder now that classes are full, but she’s putting in more of an effort to make students feel seen. 

Finally I talked to Mr. Mcclafferty. He was able to list off many positives he found, and I chose some of my favorites to share. Firstly, “Many things that I was “forced” to learn by necessity that I would probably not have bothered with during a normal school year. Like deadlines can be a little fluid… Not everything needs a hard deadline. It is good to be flexible.” He took notice that times were hard, and everyone was struggling. It allowed him to learn that sometimes students need a little extra time. He also touched on the subject that Ms. Riddelbarger did, connecting with students. He said, “ I got a glimpse into your daily life through Zoom. It was nice to get to see bedrooms and homes (or even what fake background people would choose) in zoom because it gave me a little glimpse into people’s personal life in a way that talking to them could never quite relay.”

He was able to use zoom as a way to connect with his students, and see more of their personality. Overall, a lot of bad things happened last year. With schools going back to normal now, and everyone taking time to focus on the bad that covid brought, I wanted to take my own view. Even though this is only three teachers’ opinions I was able to get a lot of good things from them.

Can We Reach The End?

By: Alec Stuart

The district’s COVID-19 response has taken a downward trend.

As COVID-19 vaccinations have rolled out across the country over the past year, the District has had a largely decent response to COVID-19, with mandatory masks in school, strong encouragement of vaccinations, and similar stuff. This, and so many other examples, have been the driving force behind the recovery from the pandemic this country has experienced. With the advent of the Delta strain and other variants, however, the response has begun to falter in a time when a cautious approach is more necessary than ever.

At the same time the Class of 2021 graduated, the district decided to make masks optional for anybody going to school. As of today, they have held this decision still, largely due to the Governor’s ban on mask mandates in schools. Regardless of legal issues, this is a risky move that increases the chances of another COVID-19 outbreak and the hindrance of much progress that has been made.

“Last year they did a great job virtually,” said senior Audrey Balsdon, “I think with the new Superintendent, things took a turn for the worse; I think they bent to the anti maskers without any worry of implications.”

As of Sep. 10, there have been 64 cases at the high school alone, with 195 district-wide. These are the consequences of making decisions based on pressure and not actual data. When I went to the board meeting the night before school began, most the attendees repeatedly berated and booed at the board with anti mask and vaccination sentiment, so much so that local law enforcement had to remove someone from the stage. Like I said, this kind of pressure has scared the board and Superintendent into making decisions without much thinking through. Not only this, but the district worries, given its size, that doesn’t have the resources to enforce health guidelines without legal action from the state government. However, this is not the whole picture.

“It’s thought provoking, I do consider our legal system to be apt for change, and it’s not strict”, Balsdon said, “challenges can be made to what we find unconstitutional and irrational; it’s legally possible.”

The district needs to realize two things: first, that the anti maskers at the board meetings are a vocal minority, and second, that the legal system, while tough to work through, is meant to be flexible. They cannot give up on enforcing health precautions at this time. With the Delta variant spreading rapidly throughout the US, we cannot risk losing all of the progress we have made in the past year.

ACT/PSAT/SAT Readiness

By: Hannah Gilchrist

That time of year is rolling back around again and students have started to prepare for the PSAT, SAT, and ACTs. DSHS students share advice based on their experiences with the tests.

Danica Best, Freshman

“At first I was really stressed out about the test, even though it had no impact on my grade. I remember doing Khan Academy just trying to remember all the things I had [previously] learned or was supposed to learn. Also, the fact that COVID hit meant that I didn’t learn everything, so I felt even more unprepared. A week before the test I finally stopped stressing out about it and it felt so much better. I’m glad I did, because I felt more relaxed and mentally prepared going into it. I just had to trust myself. What I would do differently is find a balance between studying and relaxing.”

Teresa Brod, Junior 

“Taking the test [PSAT] can be stressful, but it’s very good preparation for the actual SAT. 

I definitely recommend taking it, as it’s a good way to prepare for any other admissions tests. The practice tests help me feel less stressed, more comfortable and familiar with the format.”

Soraya Khezrefaridi, Senior

“I’ve been taking the PSAT since I was in seventh grade and I think the exposure to the test really helped me out in the long run. I did take an SAT prep class over the summer and it actually benefited me a lot-, by 200 points.” 

“Taking the test is exhausting; I know this sounds like something your mom would say, but get lots of rest the night before, eat a good meal that morning, and make sure to stay hydrated.” 

“My preparation did help me in the end, I don’t have a stellar score, but I do have one that I was hoping for. If I could do something differently, I probably would’ve not gone out the night before my test. I also think another prep class wouldn’t have hurt, either.”

Alan Anderson, Senior“I took the SAT and ACT but chose to focus on the SAT and prepare for my next couple attempts. To prepare, I used the SAT study guide by College Board. Taking the test was not very stressful to me, only the time waiting to take it. The preparation definitely